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House flags of French shipping companies: Companies now out of business - part 1

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
Keywords: house flag | shipping company | fabre | cross (blue) | bureau | prentout-lebond leroux | star (blue) |
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[Fabre]by Al Fisher Jr

The company retained the name of its founder, Cyprien Fabre (1838-1896).

In 1868, Cyprien Fabre (1838-1896) founded Cyprien Fabre et Compagnie, a company of trade and shipping. The company owned two sailing ships and one steamer, and operated between Marseilles and the trading posts scattered along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. A few years later, Fabre bought additional steamers which sailed to Dahomey, Algeria, India and Madagascar.

In 1881, the company was split into Cyprien Fabre, Fabre et Compagnie for trade and Compagnie Francaise de Navigation à Vapeur Cyprien Fabre et Compagnie" for shipping. Scheduled lines were opened between Marseilles and Oran (Algeria), Syria, South America and New York. In 1896, the company owned 17 steamers.

Cyprien Fabre was elected vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce of Marseilles in 1879, and became president from 1881 to 1891. He advocated "reasoned free-entreprise", strongly opposed to protectionnism and Parisian centralism (a recurrent theme in the economic life of Marseilles). He promoted the development of the port of Marseilles as a means of fighting against the Parisian companies PLM and Compagnie des Docks, which had tried unsuccessfully to establish a monopole on the maritime trade in Marseilles. He was also one of the most enthusiastic promoter and sponsor of the annexion of Dahomey by general Dodds (1894-95).

Paul Fabre (1870-1955) succeeded his father and avoided the dismantling of the company Fabre. The company became the leader in transportation of Italian emigrants to the United States (43,802 tons). Paul Fabre ceded the company to Compagnie Fraissinet, which was then presided by his son-in-law.


Ivan Sache, 5 November 2000

L. Bureau & Fils

[Bureau house flag]by Ivan Sache

The company were sailing ship operators. According to Lloyds House Flags & Funnels (1904 & 1912), the house flag of L. Bureau & Fils [& Sons] was red with the white letters LB&F.

Neale Rosanoski, 25 December 2002

Prentout-Lebond Leroux et Cie

[Prentout-Leblond Leroux house flag]by Ivan Sache

Sailing ship operators noted Lloyds House Flags & Funnels (1904) as H. Prentout-Lebond & E. Leroux and Lloyds (1912) as Prentout-Lebond, Leroux & Cie. The fhouse flag is shown red with a white bend charged with a blue star slightly angled towards the upper hoist so that the top point is towards the start of the fly red.

They also operating as Compagnie Rouennaise de Transports Maritimes with a similar flag, again a white band but with the star point upright and the star placed between the blue letters "C" and "R" with both being also placed erect.
Lloyds House Flags & Funnels (1904) also show a similar flag but with the letters being "S" and "B" for the sailing ship company Société Bretonne de Navigation based in Nantes but there is no indication of a link with the other two which were based in Rouen.

Neale Rosanoski, 25 December 2002

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